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black cougars in west-central Texas?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by texastele, Oct 31, 2012.

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  1. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    We have black panthers in Philadelphia.

    TR
     
  2. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    My buddie's son, is a wildlife biologist for the state of Arizona, lives in Alpine. His studies are in the Red Wolf population in that area. This biologist has seen many jaguars in his treks around this area, many meaning 6 or 7 over the past year. Nothing new to this area, being this close to the Mexican border.
     
  3. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I have seen a black (melanistic) jaguar that didn't have any tawny or yellow hair at all. It was in captivity at a rare feline breeding center 2 miles from my house. The breeder obtained two black jaguars and bred them producing many black cubs. On the one I saw, the spot (rosette) pattern could be made out easily in the sunlight. Since it was all black, I surmised that the rosette hairs grew at a different angle or were a different texture from the other hair.
     
  4. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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  5. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    I never said that cougars weren't a possibility in Texas, just that the complete and utter lack of evidence of "black panthers" make me doubt they exist despite the claims and so-called "sightings" When someone has tangible proof instead of mere hearsay, I'll be willing to admit I was wrong. Until such a time that their existence is proven, I'll continue to harbor my doubts.
     
  6. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Yes, it is rare. That's a big part of the problem.

    It's hard enough to believe that jaguars are back in TX after not being spotted here for over 100 years.

    To say that not only are they back, but also that no one, in this age of game cameras and video phones has been able to document that return AND that the only ones that have been spotted are the rarest kind is a real stretch.
    I'll say it again. If you have information that melanism exists in cougars, you are in possession of information that any naturalist in the U.S. would be very interested to know about.

    http://www.fws.gov/floridapanther/panther_faq.html

    "There is no species of "black panther." The large black cats seen in zoos or used by media outlets are usually either the black (or melanistic) phase of jaguars or leopards. Some species of wild felines, especially those that are spotted as adults (including bobcats) have melanistic or black color phases. This color phase is unusual. However, there has never been a black or melanistic panther, cougar, or mountain lion documented in the wild or in captivity."​

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar

    "Despite anecdotes to the contrary, all-black coloring (melanism) has never been documented in cougars."​

    http://newsandtribune.com/archive/x518725619

    "“Never in the history of the United States has there ever been, in captivity or in the wild, a documented black mountain lion..."​
     
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    One reason I'm willing to believe in melanism in cougars--dark brown, not black--is the one I missed when I shot low. As I've said, much like a seal-point Siamese house cat: Dark mask and paws, and his tail was more brown than the tan/tawny of his body. Still daylight, and it was about 50 or 60 yards at 4X. I guessed his body weight at around 120 to 140. He was bigger than other cougars I'd seen.
     
  8. texastele

    texastele Member

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    All of the discussion is very interesting. I have been busy with work and hadn't gotten on in several days. On a previous post a gentleman from Midland wanted to know where I was located and where I had seen the animal. I live in San Angelo. The tracks with the one sighting were at the lease between Knickerbocker and Tankersley. The lone sighting was at Tankersley, such as it is. (It is just a big ranch now. Not a town.)
     
  9. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Well they can be dark brown. That is within the normal variation of the mountain lion, though not common. Based on known evidence and considerable study, documentation, hunting, collection, and exhibition of mountain lions going back more than 200 years in North America if not longer, black mountain lions do not exist.

    So that is what makes the black panther claims so bizarre. Even if just dark brown which is rare amongst a rarely species, people see black panthers everywhere, it seems. In Florida, they are spotted more commonly than the Florida Panther by the public. Even more interesting are the sightings in low light when when they would be less apt to stand out.

    Apparently like the Christian-based bumper sticker says...

    These seems to hold true for many types of purported cryptids that are spotted in relatively high frequency, have claims of regular spottings, have plenty of notoriety, but yet cease to have verified documentation like bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, chupacabras, Champ, etc. The black panther is another such creature.
     
  10. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    Wasnt there some black panther/puma/cougar/mountain lion found in the everglades...the florida "panther" group?
     
  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Just opinion about people, but I can see where a night-time sighting would have dark brown being talked about as "black". And, for daytime, odds are that there is a propensity to holler, "Black!" even though it's actually a dark brown. Doesn't seem worth arguing about, really.

    Coal black? I'd have to see it dead on the ground to believe it. :D
     
  12. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    they had (still have?) a black (panther) jaguar at the montgomery zoo in alabama.
     
  13. lynntelk

    lynntelk Member

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    Texastele
    The sighting I had was south of the Midland/Odessa area. The rancher that I talked with was from around the Garden City area. He and several of his family and employees had seen the seen the black ...... fill in the blank as to what you want to call it. Garden City to San Angelo is not very far. South of Midland/Odessa is not too far for Garden City or San Angelo. Kind of interesting for something that does not exist.
     
  14. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    If you've ever seen a Florida panther, they have black tips on their hair ends. Also the coat is a dark reddish color - not tan. When you look at one quartering away from you they look dark and 'shimmery'. If you see them quartering toward you, they look red ... like a sorrel horse.
    This is a description of captive panthers. I have never seen a panther or a cougar in the wild. Wild ones might be darker because they are dirty and wet. The Everglades are quite damp. :D
     
  15. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  16. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    BlackPuma.gif


    Quote:

    “ A VERY dark colored cougar. Due to the black and white nature of the photograph it is impossible to tell if the animal is truly black or just very dark brown. Either way it is an unusually dark specimen.”


    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Ummmmm…………NO!

    It is NOT “truly black” and probably NOT “very dark brown” either.

    What it IS……is an animal photographed in black and white with very strong ‘shadowing’….due the brightness and angle of the sun.

    OTHERWISE….we would have to attribute the same pigmentation to the underside of the young man’s hat, the right side of his face and neck, the inside of his left arm and outside of his right.

    The portion of cat in the bright sunlight is consistent what you would expect, the other is a shadow.

    Come on folks. :(
     
  17. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I don't think any of us folks were claiming that picture to be black or a dark brown cat. So you are writing to the cryptid folks who posted it?
     
  18. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I don't know or care if there are or ever were black cougars but I DO know for a fact that there are large(larger than house cat)wild black cats with very long tails because I have seen one first hand(as reported here on THR). I trapped a very large cat in the '80s that was NOT a house cat. It was very heavy,very angry,had a tail longer than it's body. It was not black but spotted in places like a bobcat,had ear tufts and longer cheek fur. Large long tailed wildcats exist in spite off the naysayers. Lack of physical evidence proving their existence is not proof of their non-existence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  19. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Do a search on jaguarundi.
     
  20. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Yes!

    But it applies to any others that are going to have their "black panther" one way or another, as well.

    Common sense needs to prevail.

    Look at the numbers of reports all across the U.S. (hundreds..in nearly every State).

    "Common Sense" dictates:

    1. Folks are indeed seeing SOMETHING black (or dark) but its NOT a panther.

    2. Black panthers are common enough to have a breeding population (since they are sighted nearly everywhere) BUT...they somehow remain invisible to game cameras and their carcasses evaporate upon death.

    3. They really do exist, are exceedingly rare...but travel like the dickens!

    My position concerning Black Panthers and Bigfoot is: Just show me one, just one!

    I understand the attraction to the 'folklore', but that's all it is.

    Example: When we pick Dew-Berries...my Mother-in-Law continues to insist that the foam you find on various plants and vines is "Snake Spit" and cautions everyone to be careful.

    She was told that as a child will NOT accept that what she is actually seeing is a spittlebug/froghopper:

    http://www.everythingabout.net/articles/biology/animals/arthropods/insects/spittlebug/

    And I'm not talking about clinging to fond childhood memories and folklore, I mean she literally refuses to believe that it is anything but "Snake Spit".

    These things "die hard" if at all.
     
  21. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Yes I know about Jaguarundi. I first heard of them about 30 years ago,however,I doubt that the average person has heard of them(at least in my state). Many big cat sightings may well be attributed to these cats. ALL long tailed wildcats in my area are called "panthers" so when some-one says they have seen a panther,folks automatically assume cougar(especially if they don't know about the jaguarundi). We have several cougar here in my area(normal color phase)even though the "authorities deny it and even refuse to investigate any reports of sightings. The classic response is "mis-identification" and the reports aren't given any credence. On top of that,the person reporting a sighting is subjected to public ridicule. Folks now tend to keep such sightings to themselves and maybe a neighbor or two.
     
  22. Wes Mantooth

    Wes Mantooth Member

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    Chupacabra.

    Up from Mexico. Pesky little devils.;)
     
  23. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^

    Especially the black ones. ;)
     
  24. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    ^^^^^^
    Gee...I'm glad THAT doesn't happen on THR!
     
  25. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Where in "West-Central Texas" are we talking about here? Out west of Ft. Worth about 2 hours my family has land and within the last 6 months we have seen 2 cougars (or the same one twice), but neither have been black. However, we were told that it is rare to have a cougar in the area....

    Sent from my HTC One X
     
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